Two men and two and a half women decided to drive to and spend 2 nights at ‘Hidden Village’. A rustic getaway, about 80 kilometres from Vasai. Aari, I, Bosco (Zeita’s godfather), Neelam and Aurelia (Bosco’s and Neelam’s child and our godchild) left at about 12 PM via Biwandi (as drawn on the map).
The traffic at Biwandi was chaotic at best. We were left gasping for driving space and breathing air and it was a relief getting off Biwandi. We reached Hidden village at 3PM, most of this time, between 12 to 3 was spent watching the exhausts of trucks at Biwandi. The road, where we take the detour off Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway all the way upto Mumbai- Nashik highway is scarred with potholes. There are lengths of good sections too, but they just don’t ring enough good bells because of their bad cousins.
Hidden village, like the name suggests is quite hidden-just the kind of place to get away from the maddening city life. We lazed in our cottage for a few hours and later that night, Aari and I decided to play footsie in the games room. I got the better of her, one of the few times I get one-up with her.
The next morning, Aari and I decided to take another stroll and meet the farm animals. The goats were delighted to see us and even more delighted when they realised that we were there to pamper them.
Seeing all the attention the goats received, a female Turkey arrived from nowhere, and started displaying her plumage. She came slowly towards Aari and stood next to her feet. I then sat down and began petting the bird- it was more than delighted. A few minutes into the petting I realised the colour of wattle, changed from white to red. We then continued our walk and the Turkey kept following us.
The next day too, the same ritual continued. This time I engaged in some heavy petting, knowing that it was our last day there. A few minutes into the petting, we spotted 2 male Turkeys giving us some dirty looks.
We decided to continue walking and the female turkey continued sitting in the place where I had last petted her. When we were about 20 meters from the place, one of the male Turkey, mounted the female and copulated with her. Such lazy birds these males turned out to be, I did all the pampering and cajoling and the males just arrived to give the finishing touches. What’s the Turkey world come upto!!
Aari and I also met a flock of geese. At one time they surrounded me and in geese language asked me to feed them bamboo shoots. After a small lecture on geese etiquettes, I plucked a few shoots of the bamboo to feed the birds.
The birds that were behind me, were quite annoyed that I was ignoring them and not feeding them. To get my attention, they began pulling my short-pants!! Hey come-on give a man his privacy, bird brains.
Hidden village has a lovely pool, which is fed by water, from a nearby spring. I love water and wanted to take a plunge, right on arrival. Aari though was reluctant to have me go for a swim. To know why, we need to take a bit of detour from this hidden village story.
In April this year, I was throwing a stone tied with a string on our tamarind tree. When the stone would get entwined on any branch of the tree, I would shake the tamarinds down. After three days of throwing, my shoulder was really tired. I persisted throwing the stone higher and higher and finally, one fine third day my shoulder dislocated. I gave one look at my mangled shoulder and intelligently put it back in its right place. Aari and I then decided to consult an orthopedician , who after closely looking at my 1.5 tesla shoulder MRI, decided that I should not swim for “6 months” (Aari thinks he said “for life”!!!). So back at hidden village, Aari was against me going for a swim. But how could I resist water! Taking a cue from the turkey, I did a little pampering dance of my own and managed to get the green light. Aari accompanied me to the swim and kept a hawks eye vigil on me. After 1 hours’ worth of swim, I had proudly gone against the doctor’s diktat.
We spent two blissful nights and returned back to the maddening crowds of the city. For the return trip we decided to give Biwandi a miss and drove via Thane instead; a good 20 extra kilometers, but much lesser potholes and more disciplined traffic . The return journey took us nearly the same time as the onward journey, but was a pleasure to drive and hardly any truck exhaust pipes to look at. I recommend this route to any one intending on a similar sojourn or drive.
Bye and have a lovely day- Thank you